1 Year Blogging Recap and Photo Shoot

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

WOW! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I nervously hit “publish” on my first blog post. This year has taught me so much, and I definitely can’t cover it all in one blog post. This past month, I have been reflecting a lot about how I’ve grown over the last year through blogging- the good and bad. As I’ve thought about everything this last year has brought, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude! So today, I just want to focus on the good, so without further adieu…

What I’ve Loved About Blogging

Meeting new people 

When I made the decision with Spencer to move back to Portland 2 years ago, my biggest fear was not being able to find solid community. Most of my friends from high school had moved away, and Spencer and I moved to a completely different part of the city from where we grew up. This meant finding a new church, new friends, and adjusting to a different town. Blogging has allowed me to connect with other creatives in Portland and across the country. The support I’ve gotten from people I’ve never met has been so cool, and I’ve loved being able to make new friends in “real life” too! Working with other bloggers and photographers more consistently has given me friends that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise!

@heykaeleigh, @gia_battaglia, @velvetandsequins

@heykaeleigh, @gia_battaglia, @velvetandsequins

@kristinacatherinemcinnis, @allglamnofilter, @velvetandsequins Photo Credit: Shauna Dullanty

@kristinacatherinemcinnis, @allglamnofilter, @velvetandsequins Photo Credit: Shauna Dullanty

@heykaeleigh Photo Credit: Emily Petri Photography

@heykaeleigh Photo Credit: Emily Petri Photography

Collaborating with Brands

When I started xoxo love, laura, this was not something that was really on my radar. I’ve never seen myself as being super outgoing or assertive, so the idea of pitching myself to a brand or having someone ask to work with me seemed completely out of the equation. Fast forward a year, and I have had the amazing opportunity to work with local businesses like Line and Lure Seafood KitchenBar Miranda, and Lash Lounge, online boutiques like Sew Lovely and Tennessee Willow, and larger companies like McCormick’s Distilling and Neutrogena. I love working with companies and recommending products I love and trust to my followers.

Tennessee Willow collab Photo Credit: Shauna Dullanty

Tennessee Willow collab Photo Credit: Shauna Dullanty

Lash Lounge collab

Lash Lounge collab

Being Creative with Content

I’ve always loved writing, and this blog has motivated me to be more consistent with putting my thoughts down “on paper.” I had a hard time trying to choose my favorite post, because each of them represent a different part of creativity this year. Another thing that has been wonderful this year is my increase in confidence I have seen in myself through creating content! The first time I took pictures, I was super self concious and had no idea what I was doing. Fast forward to the last photo shoot I did with Karya, and I was amazed with how comfortable I felt in my own skin. 

first blog picture- I was too afraid to take pictures anywhere than in front of my house!

first blog picture- I was too afraid to take pictures anywhere than in front of my house!

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

Photo Credit: Karya Schanilec Photography

So what’s next?

Great question! I’ve been reflecting on what I want this platform to represent this year, and I want this to be a place that inspires others. Inspires them to be more comfortable in their own skin, to ask the tough questions, to love others, and to love themselves. I’ve been mulling over this mission statement I crafted earlier this year, and I believe this is the heart of what I want for xoxo love, laura: ”sharing my story of navigating life and faith in order to inspire women to be real with themselves and others.” 

I would love to hear from you! How can I better fulfill this mission statement this year? Send me an email or message me on Instagram or Facebook! Once again THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your support and encouragement over the last year! I can’t wait for what’s ahead!

xoxo

love, laura